Does washington still have jurisdiciton if wife and kids recently moved out of state

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does washington still have jurisdiciton if wife and kids recently moved out of state

I am wanting to file for divorce but my wife and kids moved to montana last month
and am not sure which state has jurisdiciton. Can i still file in washington or
do I need to file in montana?

Asked on August 6, 2018 under Family Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In order to file for divorce in the state of Washington you must be a resident (residency has no time limit there like other states) and must remain a resident for 90 days AFTER the petition is filed.  For the Courts to pbtain jurisdiction over your wife she must be personally served in the other state.  Now here is the real issue: the kids.  Once they live in Montana for 6 months that becomes their "home state" and the Courts in Washington do not have the power to make any decision over them.  But if you file NOW and ask for custody and visitation they can make orders involving them and your wife will have to come to Washington to deal with this.  PLEASE seek legal help.  Good luck.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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